No software development team would limit its efforts while automation testing of products. It is imperative that the team wouldn’t want to see any defects creeping in during the release. But, no matter how hard you strive to catch the bugs or use even the best manual test processes – you are at risk to see bugs reappearing in the final delivered software.
The challenge is common, especially, for startups. The best-suited answer to your constraints is automation testing, especially when you are building mobile apps. Automation is your gateway to a more effective, flawless and foolproof testing.
Before discussing why automation testing important, the question that first comes to your mind is what manual testing challenges are you expected to face. And why automation testing crucial instead of manual. So, let’s first answer this one by one.
Manual Testing Challenges Faced
In manual testing, it is a human facing the computer and flipping his vision through application screens. He makes all efforts to ensure that the input combinations elicit the expected behavior. This human tested has to also record the results and observations on each step he takes.
Now, each time the source code changes, the human tester has to repeat the whole process. So, throughout the development cycle, the tester needs to repeat the tests many times. This costs time and money.
So, an automation testing tool has predefined actions with the facility to playback. This automation and extended capacity of the tool to repeat the testing process allows the engineer to ensure a much better quality of testing.
- Manual testing is slow and costly. Because it is very labor-intensive, it takes a long time to complete tests. Increasing headcount increases cost.
- Manual tests don’t scale well. As the complexity of the software increases, the complexity of the testing problem grows. This leads to an increase in the total time devoted to testing as well as the total cost of testing.
- Manual testing is not consistent or repeatable. Variations in how the tests are performed are inevitable, for various reasons. One tester may approach and perform a certain test from another, resulting in different results on the same test, because the tests are not being performed.
- Lack of training is a common problem, although not unique to manual software testing.
- Testing is difficult to manage. There are more unknowns and greater uncertainty in testing than in code development. Modern software development practices are well-structured, but if you don’t have sufficient structure in testing, it will be difficult to manage.
Why And When Automation Testing Is Needed To Compliment Manual Testing
Usually, when you’re working for a small company with few financial resources, this is going to be your best option. A big advantage of manual testing is the ability to see real user issues. Unlike a robot, when developing software, going through manually allows you to see bugs that a real user could face.
Manual testing also gives you a lot more flexibility. Using automated tools, it’s difficult to change values in the program once you begin testing. When manually testing, you can quickly test the results and it allows you to see which ideas work the best.
Automated testing is best to use when you’re working on a large project, and there are many system users. The biggest advantages of automated testing are its relative quickness and effectiveness.
Once your initial test is set up, it’s an easy process to repeat tests, continuously fill out the same information and everything is done for you automatically. Therefore, it saves huge effort in regression testing of each release.
As suggested by a Lead SDET at Microsoft “It only makes sense to use automated testing tools when the costs of acquiring the tool and building and maintaining the tests are less than the efficiency gained from the effort.”
What Is An Automation Framework
A framework is a constructive blend of various guidelines, coding standards, concepts, processes, practices, project hierarchies, modularity, reporting mechanism, test data injections, etc. to pillar automation testing. Therefore, the user can follow these guidelines while automating applications to take advantage of various productive results.
Automation for QC is a very important aspect but more critical is the choice of the tool that is required for the automation. There are many tools available in the market place for automation testing of mobile apps. all of these tools stand with some pro and some cons for e.g. some of these tools support only android and some needs huge budget. Below are a few examples of available best tools present today
- Robotium Android Testing Tool
- Telerik Test Studio
- MonkeyRunner Android App Testing
- Ranorex Android Application Testing Tool
- Appium Automation Framework
- UI Automator for Android Test Automation
The basic criteria for you to choose the tool should be following
- Ease of use
- No/Limited programming knowledge required
- Robust and scalable
- Should be able to support Android and iOS apps
- Should be working with multiple languages
Why You Should Prefer Appium For Better Results In Automation Testing
Out of the many options available in the market, it was decided to hold hands with the Appium tool. Appium aims to automate any mobile app from any language and any test framework, with full access to back-end APIs and DBs from test code. Write tests with your favorite dev tools using any programming languages with the Selenium WebDriver API or language-specific client libraries.
Appium is an open-source tool for automating native, mobile web, and hybrid applications on iOS and Android platforms. Native apps are those written using the iOS or Android SDKs. Mobile web apps are web apps accessed using a mobile browser (Appium supports Safari on iOS and Chrome or the built-in ‘Browser’ app on Android). Hybrid apps have a wrapper around a “web-view” — a native control that enables interaction with web content. Projects like Phonegap, make it easy to build apps using web technologies that are then bundled into a native wrapper, creating a hybrid app.
Though various tools are available in the market, both commercial and open-source, Appium stands out of all for the following reasons
- Appium is a freely distributed open-source mobile application UI testing framework.
- Appium allows native, hybrid and web application testing and supports automation test on physical devices as well as on emulator or simulator both.
- It offers cross-platform application testing i.e. single API works for both Android and iOS platform test scripts.
- It has no dependency on Mobile device OS. Because Appium has framework or wrapper that translate Selenium Webdriver commands into UIAutomation (iOS) or UIAutomator (Android) commands depending on the device type, not any OS type.
How does Appium work for Android?
- Appium client (C# or Java) connects with Appium Server and communicate via JSON Wire Protocol
- Appium Server then creates an automation session for the client and also checks the desired capabilities of client and connects with respective vendor-provided frameworks like Selendroid/UIAutomator (based on android versions)
- Vendor-provided frameworks will then communicate with bootstrap.jar which is running in Emulator/Real device for performing client operations.
- Bootstrap.jar act as a TCP server to perform action on our AUT (Application Under Test)
How Appium works with iOS?
- Appium client (Java or Python) connects with Appium Server and communicate via JSON Wire Protocol
- Appium Server then creates an automation session for the client and also checks the desired capabilities of client and connects with respective vendor-provided framework UIAutomation
- UIAutomation will then communicate with bootstrap.js which is running in Simulator/Real device for performing client operations
- Bootstrap.js will perform action on our AUT (Application Under Test)
There are quite a few considerations to make based upon your project when deciding to go with manual or automated testing. Make sure you make an educated and well-informed decision that’s best for your specific project needs. The bottom line is to reduce the time taken for testing along with the ease-of-use for QC.
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